Iranian Journal of Psychiatry 2017. 12(4):238-247.

Psycho-Socio-Cultural Determinants of Food Choice: A Qualitative Study on Adults in Social and Cultural Context of Iran
Arezoo Haghighian Roudsari, Abouali Vedadhir, Parisa Amiri, Naser Kalantari, Nasrin Omidvar, Hassan Eini-Zinab, Hani Sadati


Background: Food choice is a process through which people think, feel, and eat food. It is not only influence individuals' health and well-being, families and communities, but also has effect on regional, national, and global levels. This qualitative study was carried out to explore perceptions and lived experiences of Tehranian adults on psychological, social and cultural determinants of food choice.

Methods: In this qualitative design, 33 adults aged 30-64 years old were recruited from various districts of Tehran, Capital of Iran to make us capable of exploring how people make decision about food choice in practice and shape their perception, attitude and eating practices An individual in-depth semi-structured interview guide included major questions with follow-up probes was used to explore participants’ current and past eating habits from childhood to adulthood, dietary change at different life courses and effective psychological state on food selection in different seasons.

Findings: This study revealed that food choice in the studied adults (30-64 years old) is widely influenced by psychological, social and cultural determinants which can be categorized into five main themes: Cultural context and patterns, Social Structure and Norms, Information Resources and Media, Household and Family structure, Nutrition transition.

Conclusions: The findings clarify the importance of social and cultural contexts which influence the food choice of adults in metropolis like Tehran. Many of these concepts contextualize from the childhood and with the development of individuals. These findings could serve as guidance to design socio-culturally appropriate strategies and improve dietary behaviors of Iranians.


food choice; psychological; social; cultural; grounded theory methods

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